Friday, December 9, 2016

winter beauty tips for the salty and willfully shut-in.

here is my average tuesday morning: 
830a wake up and think about going to walgreens.
840a try to convince myself that if i go to the gym for 40 minutes going to walgreens can be my reward.
845a debate wearing pajamas to the gym, realize these are the pajamas i wore to the gym yesterday so who cares.
850a plan what one item i am going to purchase at walgreens so i have a reason to go back tomorrow.
851a fruitlessly search for socks and shoes appropriate for moderate exercise in public surrounded by strangers.
853a remember sensible skechers are downstairs by the door where i kicked them off yesterday in an endorphin-fueled post-exercise wave of rage and disappointment.
854a consider going downstairs.
901a fuck working out and fuck walgreens, too.

i don't have anywhere important to go these days, so i don't really have a reason to have clear skin. i hated customer service for the many, many years i was doing it but at least the thought of arguing with some idiot as they stared in abject horror at my blackheads was motivation to occasionally use one of those congestion-clearing masks. the daikon farmer at the night market doesn't give a shit about my oxygenated pores, and neither does the lady sweating next to me in cardio hip hop groove oldies party or whatever it's called. does the guy at the starbucks drive thru who insists on putting one of those open whipped cream lids on my unsweetened iced tea care that i used a smoothing primer? how about the UPS woman, do you think she can tell the difference between the peachy nude lipstick i was wearing yesterday and the pinky nude i put on for no reason today!?

the answer is no. no one gives a shit about my hyperpigmentation or whether or not i'm using a brow pomade. and sure, maybe definitely no one cared about my liquid blush before? but at least i had half an hour on the train every morning to show off its perfect application to uninterested commuters who wished i would just die so they could take my fucking seat. i have a lot of time on my hands right now and sure i could be using it to read to old people or pack boxed lunches for veterans or some other useful thing, but until someone tells me where to go to do those things i am instead going to read excruciatingly detailed descriptions of beauty products on my computer then order them and pay for expedited shipping so that i can put them on my face in the vain hope that the bored teenager at the bagel shop will look up from his cream cheese long enough to ask, "wow, is that mac mineralize skinfinish!?"

head. i have written extensively and in disgusting detail about the raging monstrosity that is my scalp, and i recently tried a bunch of new shit because i don't go anywhere anyway so it doesn't really matter if i break out in a huge, nasty rash all down the sides of my face. first i tried lush superbalm. it's pretty easy to use on a shaved head, but i don't know if i'd have the patience otherwise. it's a paste that you smear on your gross parts, then you let it sit for 20 minutes before washing it out. i didn't love it, but a tiny tin cost $22 so i'll holler back in three years when i finish it. my barber sold me a bottle of kérastase bain exfoliant hydratant months ago but i just got around to using it and meh. on one of my daily trips to walgreens i gazed wistfully at all of the jewel-toned, tropical-scented bottles of shampoo for people who aren't total garbagemonsters to the unsexy shelves teeming with medical shampoo and got myself a bottle of nizoral, and that shit is a miracle.

shoulders. i'm 36 years old and my skin is changing. i always thought that "change your skin routine as you get older!" was a myth perpetrated by the beauty industry to get regular people to care about shit like "serums" and "night cream" but i am living proof that time turns your skin into an unpredictable asshole. in 1998 i could put anything on my face; now i get worried that if i get rained on i'm going to be an itchy, miserable mess for a week. i am the idiot who buys the overpriced new cleanser that is supposed to do a new fake thing for your face even though she still has a half-full bottle of an overpriced old cleanser that is currently pretending to do an old fake thing chilling on the edge of the sink. i am the gullible moron that commercials are made for, especially the ones with british-sounding voiceovers. (see: my many jaguars.) but i can't play the game anymore because my face stays on injured reserve, so i can't just go slopping creams on it on a whim. back when i was mainlining pizzas every day i could put all kinds of trash on my face but now that all i do is drink water, eat roasted quash, and listen to music i obsessed over in middle school i've switched from 137 assorted toners and lotions to one tube of first aid beauty cleanser and one tub of first aid beauty ultra repair cream because they are gentle and fragrance-free and don't make me break out in burning, welt-y hives.

i mostly bought these $80 sunday riley face oils because i was bored and my cool friend brenda likes them and i wanted the top of my super cool, modern dresser to look like it belongs to the kind of instagram girl who goes to brunch on weekdays and ferments her own beer. the bottles are gorgeous but the product smells like the healthy kind of salad and you have to be the kind of person who doesn't just throw herself in the general direction of the bed around two am if you want to use them properly; these shits are for people who are intentional, people who carefully wash their faces before dabbing on oil and then have the self-control to sit awake as they sink in so their pillowcases won't get ruined. i used these bad girls a couple of times and ruined an entire set of bedding before deciding that fussing with a glass bottle and a slippery dropper required more work and coordination than i was ever going to regularly achieve, plus i got a huge bottle of life-flo liquid cocoa butter at the health food store for $14 and it makes my face v soft and glowy but when people ask how it looks so good i lie and say it's due to "getting a good night's sleep." (wow o wow do i hate the liars who perpetuate this myth i could sleep for ten uninterrupted days and still wake up looking like someone took a cheese grater to my forehead.)

knees. i wish magazines wrote articles about, i don't know, unseemly beauty products. like, what is the most effective disposable razor for if you just have to take care of a couple chin whiskers that started popping up after you got off birth control a few years ago? or which is the best deodorant for unshaved armpits that are prone to dermatitis? if i wake up too late to both shower AND make it to where i need to be on time, which body powder can i sprinkle in my underpants so dogs don't follow me down the street all goddamn day!? this is why i couldn't work in advertising, because i'd want to write real life ad copy. (also why: i barely graduated high school.) for instance, my nars audacious lipstick ad would read: it was 32 real american dollars and sank into all my lip cracks in an unattractive way, thank goodness i bought it with a gift card. or for that too faced cocoa powder foundation picture above? idk if it works but it smells like dusting a swiss miss cocoa packet across my cheeks so i wiped it off after five minutes.

i am 36 years old and all of a sudden i am SO VERY SENSITIVE to everything beautiful and worth living for and it's bumming me out. i had to stop wearing perfume a few years ago, and it tore out what was left of my heart to pack up my jo malone french lime blossom and tom ford black orchid and give them to people whose sinuses don't catch fire the minute the perfume cap comes off. i haven't been able to wear mascara since i was 25 without risking my eyes tracking blackened sludge down my burning cheeks. i started using gel blushes and cheek stains because no matter how much benadryl i take at night coupled with zyrtec during the day i am itchy and sneezy and every other gross dwarf tasked with helping snow white get her man. other than some exceptionally good lipsticks i'm not having any fun at all. deodorant: dove unscented. body wash: aveeno fragrance free skin relief. body moisturizer: eucerin calming cream. HAVE YOU KILLED YOURSELF YET OR SHOULD I CONTINUE. 

what. is even. the point. of trying to stay alive to see my 37th year if this is how i gotta do it!? no creamy clouds of scented foam to lather up with in the shower, no sumptuous lotions heavily-fragranced with some scientist's interpretation of "freesia fields" or "pomegranate passion," no dabbing a little cologne behind my ears to impress upon a roomful of strangers that i care about myself enough to buy designer perfume. is this what it feels like to be a man, the utilitarian scrubbing of parts before inserting one's body into clothes that have been put through a cycle of tide free & gentle and tumbled without dryer sheets before walking outside with no vaguely skin-colored spackling paste to cover your inflamed, textured cheeks and unlined runny allergy eyes!? BUT EVEN DUDES HAVE HAIR POMADES AND OLD SPICE NOW. 

toes. so i'm trying to temper my addiction. first of all, shit is expensive. i had stockpiled a bunch of gift cards and coupon codes but the last place i had an in-person conversation was the quaint, adorable post office in which i tried to mail a package yet inadvertently ended up starring in a horror movie called "chatty small town postal worker," so what is even the point!? i guess i could get up in the morning and put lipstick on in the unlikely case i decide to ever open the door again when someone knocks on it after those two young mormons tricked me a couple weeks ago. i had no idea that this was even a real thing, young men in v-neck sweaters and black ties going from door to door asking people whether or not they feel connected to a higher power. i only opened the door because they waved at me through the window, and i was expecting to politely decline their offer of gallon-sized drums of novelty popcorn or let these adorable, clean-shaven teenagers use our phone to call their parents, not for the brown-haired one to ask whether or not i have a relationship with jesus. 

i almost burst out laughing i was so caught off guard. with who now!? idc what anyone does or believes in but you gotta try and keep it up off my porch, brethren. when i tried to excuse myself elder brad launched into a passionate defense of faith in the modern world (LOL WHY) while the black dude stood there mute, smiling. "blink twice if he kidnapped you," i whispered to elder demetrius and he shook his head in the negative. mavis was bustling around in the bowels of the house behind me, and this same bitch who won't even let me enjoy a secret spotify playlist without asking a hundred times what's on it (ain't nobody gotta know how many post malone songs i've downloaded) all of a sudden has no goddamn interest in who i'm talking to at the door for seven real minutes!? THIS IS WHAT IT MEANS TO SHOW UP FOR YOUR PERSON, OKAY. i don't need you to pay my phone bill, i need you to fucking shout "omg the [something flammable yet not  actually life-threatening] caught fire!" so i can shrug at these dudes and not feel guilty for slamming the door in their faces and run to throw an imaginary towel over hypothetical flames. i'm polite, though, so i patiently listened to them like i might actually be considering joining an organization that actually requires i KNOCK ON STRANGERS' DOORS ON A SATURDAY AFTERNOON IN MY GOOD CLOTHES before telling them that they were at a lesbian house where women kiss each other on the lips and have earnest conversations about new yorker articles.

i don't read that boring-ass shit but anyway tarte's tarteist creamy matte lip paints are the absolute best and maybe the reason that, even after my refusal to join their happiness love cult, they offered to help bring the firewood stacked next to the door into the house is because i was wearing one at the time. or maybe they wanted to murder me, idk.